CBS 58 EXCLUSIVE: Alderwoman Tells Personal Story of Carjacking to Make Change
A gun put to her head.. and her children in the backseat a Milwaukee Alderwoman sharing her story tonight of nearly being carjacked.
Now, she has a plan to prevent others from going through the same trauma. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis says she was picking up her father for a family road trip when a young man tried to steal her rental car at gunpoint.
However, she says this incident putting her right in the middle of the city's cycle of trauma that she says is causing these crimes in the first place.
Chantia Lewis says - talking publicly to the Judiciary and Legislation Common Council Committee about almost being carjacked at gunpoint made her re-live the trauma she thought was gone.
"I've never had this type of experience and I'm a military veteran. I think it was more difficult for me because my children were in the car," says
Lewis says as the committee looked over legislation that poses tougher punishments and makes carjackings easier to prosecute, she had to speak up.
And Lewis says - that humanity - is worth saving.
"He saw my son and he said you're lucky your kids are in the car. That right there told me that he had some humanity left in him. I am not advocating that we don't have ramifications for those who decide to go out and commit crimes but we also need to invest in the prevention of it, " says Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.
Prevention like reforming juvenile justice and getting rid of mandatory minimums. Lewis and others propose the city should look at crime as a public health issue, caused by trauma.
"No one is saying accountability isn't important, we have to be smarter on what accountability looks like," says Office of Violence Prevention Director Reggie Moore.
Lewis plans to get counseling to deal with her own family's trauma, and she also wants to talk to the young man about his.
"What was behind the incident was this just a stupid mistake.Was this something he regretted was this something he felt like he had to do?" says Alderwoman Lewis.
Lewis - went to the young man's arraignment, talked to his friends and believes he comes from a troubled home.
As for the response to the bills - Lewis says they'll talk about it at the next council meeting. Alderwoman Lewis plans to work with lawmakers to make changes to the Assembly Bill 92.